Petit Family Murders Featured on People Magazine Investigates …

By all accounts, the Petits of Cheshire, Connecticut, were the model of the perfect family: An accomplished doctor and a pediatric nurse, well-liked in the community, raising two bright daughters — the elder one, 17, preparing to follow her father to Dartmouth, and the younger one, 11, already discovering a passion for cooking.

But that sweet tableau was shattered on July 23, 2007, when Jennifer Hawke-Petit and kids Hayley and Michaela were murdered in cold blood by two men who broke into the family home in the middle of the night and held them hostage for hours.

Only the father, Dr. William Petit Jr., survived, having been beaten and locked in the basement, emerging as the police arrived to find his house in flames and his family gone.

What began with a chance encounter ended with a horrifying tale of extortion, sexual assault and murder that shook a sleepy suburb

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